Centuries-old fig overlooked

WITH a base as big as a two-car garage and a lifespan that easily predates Captain Cook's arrival, you would have to wonder how they missed it.

But the 250- to 300-year-old fig tree on Doug Haigh's Goomong property only appears on the environmental impact statement for the proposed Traveston dam because his wife made a submission mentioning it.

“They've never been here to check,” Mr Haigh said yesterday, under the crucial food source for an endangered parrot and turtle.

It is probably not the biggest or most obvious unnoticed similar tree in the dam's inundation area.

“They've got some smaller ones on Queensland Water Infrastructure land and they didn't include them in the EIS either,” said Save the Mary River Co-ordinating Group secretary David Kreutz.

Arborist Bill Wilcock said the tree was exploiting an area “way beyond” a 50m radius.

“That underground eco-system includes fungi, single celled organisms, worms,” Mr Wilcock said.

“You can't just shift an eco-system like that and re-establish it on the edge of the dam,” he said.

“We really don't know how to look after a tree like this except to leave it alone.”

Mr Haigh, who has owned his property since 1992 and operates the Haigslea Droughtmaster stud at Goomong, would lose most of his 450 acres to inundation if the dam on the Mary River was built.

Read more about the proposed Traveston dam.



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